This article, entitled "Having A Grateful Child," comes from Serese Cole, MomsEveryday blogger from Omaha, NE.
"Thank you mommy for giving me my bath."
It kind of caught me off guard, but that's what my five-year-old told me last night during bath time. After he said it I thought, "That was awfully nice of him to say" especially for something as small and routine as a bath.
It's exactly what I had the chance to talk about with our child behavior specialist, Janie Peterson, on our Midday show this week, "How to Raise a Grateful Child."
Of course we all start off right - by teaching them words like "Please" and "Thank you." And that's important - but according to Janie Peterson - we can't stop there.
There are things we all should be doing to make sure our kids appreciate what they have:
First – Teach Them To Count Their Blessings: There are a number of ways we can get our children to do this. Sometimes at night - I just have my boys say what they are thankful for. But Janie has some creative ideas to get them to show gratitude. First, get a jar and everyday for the rest of this month - take a strip of paper and have your children write one thing they are thankful for and drop it in the jar. It could be food, a game - their favorite toy. There's no right or wrong answer - it's just helps jumpstart their brain - to think about giving thanks.
There's also the Alphabet Game: Write each letter of the alphabet down a piece of construction paper and have your kids write something they are thankful for beginning with each letter of the alphabet! (I like that one!!)
She also suggests writing a simple letter to people you know or come in contact with - and thank them. It's really easy. Get a piece of construction paper, fold it in half and inside write, "Thanks for giving us our mail" - Then give it to your mailman. You could do the same with a teacher or coach.
I loved all her ideas. But then I wondered - what we are doing as parents that could help or hinder our child's thankfulness?
I googled the topic - and found out some interesting tidbits...
Giving them everything they want is definitely a hindrance. How will they ever appreciate ANYTHING if they get EVERYTHING!?!?
Also - expose them to people who have less. Take them to a soup kitchen or a homeless shelter to volunteer or to a food drive to donate food to people who don't have it. They need to know they have it pretty good!!
Finally - we (as always) have to be good role models. We need to show gratitude, too. Thank them for the things they do!! And let them see you thanking others. Of course the goal is that they will one day model our behavior.
This time of year is not all about the food, gifts and football - it is about being Thankful!!
And yes...we ALL have something to be thankful for!!
Lets get started now -
What are you most thankful for??
Share your comments - I'd love to read them and share them with my kids, too :)
And remember - it can be as small as just being thankful for a bath!
Until Next Time,
PS… Janie Peterson with Behaven Kids has some examples of the creative projects you can do on Pinterest. It may be worth checking out...